Customs

There are numerous Customs that are associated with the Regiment. Here are but a few of them:

City of Lincoln

All battalions of the Regiment have the right to march through the City of Lincoln with Colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed. Battalions invariably exercise this right when marching through the City boundaries, but are required to inform the Mayor of Lincoln of their intention to do so. The Honorary Freedom was granted to the Regiment on 7 March 2008.

City of London

All battalions of the Regiment have the right to march through the City of London with Colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed. Battalions invariably exercise this right when marching through the City boundaries, but are required to inform the Lord Mayor of their intention to do so. The right formerly possessed by the 3rd Battalion only, was extended to the remaining Battalions of the Regiment in October 1915.

City of Manchester

All battalions of the Regiment have the right to march through the City of London with Colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed. Battalions invariably exercise this right when marching through the City boundaries, but are required to inform the Lord Mayor of their intention to do so. The right formerly possessed by the 3rd Battalion only, was extended to the remaining Battalions of the Regiment in October 1915.

3rd Battalion - Corps of Drums

In the 17th Century, the 3rd Battalion of the Regiment served as Marines in His Majesty's ships in the wars against the Dutch. In consequence, the Drums of the Battalion continued the custom handed down from that time of playing 'Rule Britannia' before the National Anthem at Tattoo.

The Inkerman Company

When the 3rd Battalion of the Regiment was placed in suspended animation on 31st March 1961, Her Majesty The Queen directed that a composite company should be formed from all ranks of the 3rd Battalion and should become the Left Flank Company of the 2nd Battalion in order to keep alive the traditions of the 3rd Battalion.

Her Majesty directed that this new Company should be known as The Inkerman Company. In 1997 the 2nd Battalion was also placed in suspended animation and so the Inkerman Company became the Left Flank Company of the 1st Battalion. The Company call of The Inkerman Company is the former 3rd Battalion Call.

Nijmegan Company

Nijmegan Company was formed in 1994, from the Second Battalion Grenadier Guards and is based, at present, in London. It is ready for deployment anywhere in the world and engages in an overseas exercise once or twice a year. Previous deployments have included Canada, America, Cyprus, Belize, Holland and Italy and in 2000 they completed Artic warfare training. After a period of sustained public duties, the Company conducted a period of "green" training that culminated in a large exercise in Sennybridge in December 2004.

Hyde Park

It is a custom of the Regiment to march at attention across Hyde Park Corner. This custom dates from the days when the First Duke of Wellington lived at Apsley House and the troops of the Brigade were invariably called to attention when passing his residence. Ever since his death the custom has been kept up by the Regiment.
The General Reveille is always played by the Corps of Drums on the morning of a change of quarters.

Privilages of The Queen's Company

Apart from the privileges set out in Her Majesty's Regulations for the Household Division, the Grenadier Guards have the following privileges:

  • The Sovereign's Company has the privilege of being on duty in Westminster Abbey on the occasion of the Coronation of the Sovereign.
  • The Sovereign's Company performs the duty of watching over the dead body of a Sovereign prior to any public lying in-state, and the Company Colour of the Sovereign's Company is buried with the Sovereign at the committal. The Sovereign's Company provides the Bearer Party at the Sovereign's Funeral.

Dress

There are certain customs and traditions concerning dress:

  • The bearskin cap with white plume was, in the past, the distinctive headdress of the Grenadier and, as such, was worn by all the Grenadier Companies of the Army. On the First Guards becoming a Regiment of Grenadiers in 1815, they were granted the bearskin cap hitherto only worn by the Grenadier Companies of the Army. King William IV, in order to secure uniformity in the Brigade of Guards granted the bearskin to the Coldstream Guards and the Scots Guards who adopted it with a red plume and no plume respectively, in 1832.
  • At the funeral of Charles II the Arms of England and of France were incorporated on the mourning band. It is to commemorate this that the Fleur-de-Lys is worked in braid on the tunics of Drummers of the Regiment. The practice has been adopted for all Drummers of Regiments of the Guards Division.